San Francisco's clothed residents never really had a problem with a neighbor roaming around naked or with public nudity being legal. An epicenter of liberal activism and tolerance, the city never really bothered to ask nudists to stick to some basic etiquette, like putting a towel down on a park bench before they sat on it.
But now the city legislators have proposed a law to ban nudity in restaurants and require unclad people to place a towel or other material down before sitting bare-bottomed on benches or other public seats.
It used to be that there would be one nude guy wandering around the neighborhood and no one thought twice about it, Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents the city's Castro district, told The New York Times. Now it's a regular thing and much more obnoxious. We have guys sitting down naked in public without the common decency to put something down underneath them.
I'm not a health expert, but I believe sitting nude in a public place is not sanitary, Weiner told Reuters. Would you want to sit on a seat where someone had been sitting naked? I think most people would say, 'No.'
Nudist sympathizers have responded with a Nude-In organized by Mitch Hightower, 50, who runs a pornographic Web site.
They say the legislation is totally unnecessary to curb nudism; and putting a towel on the seat before you sit is basic nudist etiquette.
Protestors say that they always made sure their nudity wasn't offensive and used a cloth or at least a newspaper to cover their bare bottoms before sitting.
Public nudity is a draw for some San Francisco tourists, who have been known to pose for photographs with naked people.
The Nude-In was originally organized as a curtain-raiser for the Folsom Street Fair, an annual gay leather subculture fair held on the last Sunday in September. The event caps the city's Leather Pride Week.